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Review: Gengahr at The Joiners

Gengahr continued their 12-date tour with a sold-out gig at The Joiners on Sunday (29th) evening. The tour was in support of the newly released second album ‘Where Wildness Grows’

I arrived at The Joiners a little later than anticipated that evening, this was my third gig in as many days and my nap lasted longer than it should have done! Of the 3 support bands, I managed to catch half of the set of ‘Magic Peach’, who the previous day had taken to the stage at Acapulco for Portsmouth Psych Festival. I hadn’t managed to catch their set so it was a great bonus to be able to see a few tracks. ‘Low Island’ followed with their synth heavy tracks and these guys are another band that there is quite a bit of noise surrounding them at the moment.

Gengahr at the Joiners. Taken by Russ Leggatt.

I had heard a lot about Gengahr (whose name is derived from a Pokemon!) from listening to BBC 6 Music over the years and was happy to be catching them at a venue as intimate as The Joiners. The first album was very guitar driven with the pitch of the guitar occasionally reminding me of Foals/The Maccabees especially the track ‘Dark Star’. The new album has been softened slightly in my opinion; it’s one that can easily provide a soundtrack to a BBQ on a hot summer’s day.

The band entered the stage to the backdrop of ‘Blue Boy – Remember Me’, for those who don’t know this song repeats a word very similar to ‘Gengahr’ throughout – very apt. Felix’s vocals on the night were pitch perfect and the musical tightness of the band’s live performance is there for all to see. The set consisted of 15 tracks that mixed a good blend of both albums. It was great to hear ‘I’ll be Waiting’ early in the set as it gave momentum. The latest single ‘Before Sunrise’ with its catchy Gengahr stamped riff followed along with tracks ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Pull Over’.

Felix mentioned that they had put their all into this second album and they were happy to be touring it for us all to hear. I’d read that the initial sound that had been recorded and worked on for the second album wasn’t what they were hoping so this was scrapped and started again.

As the stage at The Joiners is relatively small and the band have to manoeuvre through the crowd in order to get on and off, there was no room for Gengahr to carry out the traditional encore routine. To improvise, Felix said to crowd we are going to have to pretend that we have just walked off and come back on, the band then turned around with their backs to us to rapturous applause to then turn back and blast into the final track ‘Carrion’ which was the first single from the new album. An awesome way to finish the set.

Gengahr at the Joiners. Taken by Russ Leggatt.
Gengahr at the Joiners. Taken by Russ Leggatt.

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